Kia e-Niro first EV to win What Car Car of the Year award

Kia e-Niro first EV to win What Car Car of the Year award


The Kia e-Niro has won the What Car? Car of the Year Awards 2019, with the pure-electric crossover seeing off tough competition from a number of sectors.

Announced last night (Tuesday 22nd January), the e-Niro triumphed over 23 other category winners to take the outright title, the first time an EV has won the What Car? Car of the Year award.

Other green winners include the Volvo XC90 T8, which won the Plug-In Hybrid title, the Hyundai Ioniq picked up the Hybrid award, and the e-Niro won its own category of course, the Electric Car prize.

Honda’s Urban EV won the Reader Award, which goes to the car What Car? readers are most looking forward to in the coming year. It took first place over the next generations of Vauxhall Corsa and VW Golf, in second and third respectively.

The e-Niro took the Electric Car category over the Renault Zoe – awarded Best Electric Car for less than £30,000 – and the Jaguar I-Pace – Best Electric Car at more than £60,000. Key considerations for the Electric Car winner were:

• Sufficient range between charges to fit in with most people’s lifestyles – and in the real world, not on some far-fetched official test
• Quick charging times and compatibility with the most ubiquitous types of public charging points
• Priced to be within the grasp of more than just the privileged few
• As with any car, ride comfort, practicality and ownership costs can’t be ignored

The Plug-In Hybrid prize was fought between the Volvo, Hyundai’s Ioniq Plug-In (less than £30,000), and the BMW 530e (£30,000 – £50,000). Judges were looking for:

• Electric-only range must be good
• Seamless transition between electric and petrol power
• Great fuel economy
• Low tax bills
• Easy charging

Hyundai won the Technology Award for its use of electric and hydrogen fuel cell powertrains, with the Ioniq range, Kona Electric, and Nexo a versatile portfolio of plug-in cars helping the manufacturer to the prize.

At Zap-Map, we’re delighted that electric models are not just winning categories, but outright titles too. It’s something that we’ve been championing with our sister site’s own awards for some years now, with the Hyundai Kona Electric taking the Next Green Car Awards 2018 Car of the Year prize.

We are also in agreement as to the Kia e-Niro’s abilities, with the electric crossover not considered for our most recent awards as it’s not reaching dealerships until this spring. Rest assured, we expect it to fight for the NGC Car of the Year Award 2019 when work on the awards begins later this year.

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